A tiger from the Neyyar Lion Safari Park in Thiruvananthapuram has been missing since Saturday afternoon. Two hours after its disappearance, it was found inside the park after an intense search conducted by officials and local people. However, when officials arrived to tranquilize the animal sometime later, it had gone missing again.
The tiger was brought to Neyyar from Pulpally in Wayanad two days ago. On Saturday afternoon, the nine-year-old animal bent the bars of its cage and escaped, according to the caretakers of the park. The tiger was kept under observation in a special cage, since it had just been transported from Wayanad.
The Safari Park, close to the Neyyar dam, has tigers and lions which visitors can see while travelling in a special bus. The park is around one acre in size, and the missing tiger is causing anxiety among the local people, as they fear it might enter residential areas.
However, the forest department speculated that the tiger is most probably hiding somewhere inside the park itself. Officials and locals were divided into groups, and started the search for the tiger immediately after it went missing. Drones were used in the search as well.
Two hours after it went missing, the tiger was first found lying down near the back gate of the park. It was not easy to locate, as the park has many trees that concealed the big cat. Though four officials were keeping an eye on it after it was sighted, it managed to evade them once again.
Officials plan to pause the search operations for the day, as it is difficult to spot the tiger in the dark. They will reportedly resume the search on Sunday morning.
The fencing in the park is lower in some areas, leading local residents to worry that it would be easy for the tiger to escape the park. However, officials have said that the tiger will not be able to exit the park from any side.